Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc
The Ornellaia Estate was originally founded by Marchese Lodovico Antinori in 1981. Robert Mondavi acquired the full control of Ornellaia and later sold 50% of his shares to Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi. Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi, following the sale of Robert Mondavi Corporation to Constellation Brands, then subsequently acquired the remaining 50% share. Marchese Ferdinando Frescobaldi is appointed chairman. For 700 years the Frescobaldi family has combined tradition, experience and innovation with creativity and the pursuit of excellence. The family has always looked to develop and celebrate the diversity of Tuscany’s terroir, being proud owners of some of the greatest vineyards in this region.
A blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2019 Ornellaia is an intense, intriguing wine that manages to balance effortlessly power and freshness. The clusters were hand-picked into 15 kg crates and then selected by hand on a double sorting table, before and after destemming, and then softly crushed. In 2016, optical sorting has been introduced in addition to manual selection, in order to further increase the quality of selection. Each grape variety and single vineyard block were vinified separately. Fermentation took place in stainless steel and concrete tanks at temperatures between 26 and 30°C for one week, followed by maceration for about 15 days, for a total time in the vat of about three weeks. The malolactic fermentation took place mainly in oak barrels, 70% new and 30% used once. The wine then remained in barriques, in Ornellaia’s temperature-controlled cellars for about 18 months. After the first 12 months of maturation, the wine was assembled and then returned to the barriques for an additional 6 months. After bottling, the wine aged a further 12 months prior to release.
95-97 pts. Tasted from barrel, the 2020 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia will be presented in the fall but won’t hit the market until spring of the following year. This is a beauty, so generous and opulent with fully seamless transitions. The wine’s traditional blend is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with tiny percentages of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, although this warm vintage makes due with a pinch less of the Cabernet Sauvignon. Fruit is selected across 107 hectares of Ornellaia vines, although the estate recently purchased an additional eight hectares next to Guado al Tasso in Castagneto Carducci, with terraces and vines aged between 15 and 28 years old. This broad and generous expression has a beautiful quality of fruit and oak that speaks to the very best of Italian winemaking. Monica Larner, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate